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28 August 201408:50

ICC Cricket World Cup Top Ten: Individual Australia bowling performances

From the 1970s through to today, one of the keys to Australia’s ICC Cricket World Cup success has been its steady stock of world-class bowlers – both pace and spin.

ICC Cricket World Cup Top Ten: Individual Australia bowling performances - Cricket News

Glenn McGrath and Andy Bichel have both excelled at the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Whether playing in the slower pitches of the sub-continent, the swing friendly conditions in England or the bouncier pitches in South Africa and West Indies, Australia bowlers have stood up and often singlehandedly put a match out of reach of their opponents

In this feature we take a look at the top ten individual Australia bowling performances at the ICC Cricket World Cup.

1: Andrew Bichel 7/20
2003: Australia v England (Australia won by 2 wickets)

Coming into the attack with England cruising at 60-0, Bichel made an immediate impact with the wickets of Nick Knight, Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain in his opening two overs.

Bichel was devastating on a slow pitch, lively outside the off stump and extracting enough sideways movement to trouble the entire England batting order.

By the time Bichel completed 10 overs, England were in disarray and he had picked up the best ICC Cricket World Cup figures against a full-member nation of 7-20.

2: Gary Gilmour 6/14
1975: Australia v England (Australia won by 4 wickets)

In the first ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final, Australia’s Gary Gilmour took England apart with a fine display of pace bowling.

Left-arm fast-medium bowler Gilmour was unplayable on a seaming pitch. Consistently swinging the ball late, Gilmour had five of his wickets either LBW or bowled and one caught behind.

After 12 overs of pinpoint accuracy, hooping swing and unerring line and length, Gilmour finished with 6-14 to leave England in tatters at 93 all out.

3: Shane Warne 4/29
1999: Australia v South Africa (match tied)

In one of the greatest ICC Cricket World Cup matches ever played, no one shone brighter than Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne in the 1999 semi-final.

With a paltry 213 to defend, Warne came into the attack with South Africa in control at 43-0. In a match-turning spell, Warne had South Africa mesmerised with his turn, control and variation. He quickly had openers Herschelle Gibbs and Gary Kirsten bowled before taking just two balls to dismiss Hansie Cronje.

Jacques Kallis recovered South Africa’s innings with a well-paced half-century before being deceived in the air by Warne. Warne’s vital four strikes proved the difference as the match ended in a tie and Australia progressed to the final due to a superior net-run-rate.

4: Glenn McGrath 3/18 and Shaun Tait 4/39
2007: Australia v South Africa (Australia won by 7 wickets)

In one of the great combined bowling efforts in ICC Cricket World Cup history, Glenn McGrath and Shaun Tait took a collective 7-57 to break South Africa hearts in the 2007 semi-final.

With the cricketing world set for an epic showdown, Glenn McGrath and Shaun Tait ripped through the South Africa top order to leave the Proteas in deep trouble at 27-5.

After a brief recovery from South Africa, Tait continued his assault, picking up the wickets Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Hall and Andre Nel to go with his earlier scalp of AB de Villiers.

South Africa ended all out on 149 and Australia romped into the final by seven wickets.

5: Shane Warne 4/36
1996: Australia v West Indies (Australia won by 5 runs)

In a pressure-cooker of a semi-final, Shane Warne picked up four wickets to help take Australia through to the ICC Cricket World Cup 1996 final.

After managing only 207 against a rampant West Indies side, Australia needed something special with the ball and got it from Warne. In an ominous sign, Warne picked up the wicket of Courtney Browne with his first ball before returning late in the innings for a defining spell.

With victory within sight for the West Indies at 173-3, Warne triggered a collapse with three wickets in three overs. It was vintage Warne, first it was Otis Gibson caught behind by Ian Healy before he trapped both Jimmy Adams and Ian Bishop LBW. West Indies never recovered, eventually falling six runs short of victory.

6: Glenn McGrath 5/14
1999: Australia v West Indies (Australia won by 6 wickets)

It took only a few short overs for Glenn McGrath to turn a much anticipated match into a no contest.

Showing the impeccable pace, control, line and length that would become a hallmark of his career, McGrath removed Sherwin Campbell, Ridley Jacobs and the prized scalp of Brian Lara in the space of 13 balls to leave the West Indies struggling at 20-3.

He proved just as effective with the older ball, running through tail-enders Mervyn Dillion and Courtney Walsh to end with 5-14 – at the time the best ODI figures by an Australia bowler against the West Indies.

7: Brett Lee 5/42
2003: Australia v New Zealand (Australia won by 96 runs)

After struggling through to 208 against a Shane Bond-led New Zealand attack, Brett Lee ended any hope of a New Zealand upset with a stunning five-wicket display.

With New Zealand delicately poised on 102-5, Lee began with the big wicket of New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming for 48 before grabbing four more wickets with his trademark pace and aggression.

In all, Lee picked up the last five wickets in an extraordinary burst of just 15 balls to ensure that Australia’s ICC Cricket World Cup winning streak was kept alive.

8: Craig McDermott 5/44
1987: Australia v Pakistan (Australia won by 18 runs)

Australia made it through to the ICC Cricket World Cup 1987 final on the back of fiery and accurate pace bowling display from Craig McDermott.

Bowling fast and straight, McDermott ripped through Pakistan opener Mansoor Akhtar before returning to the bowling crease with the match in the balance.

Needing wickets to salvage the match, McDermott skittled the dangerous Wasim Akram before running through the tail to pick up 5-44 and send Australia into an ICC Cricket World Cup final showdown against England.

9: Nathan Bracken 4/19
2007: Australia v Sri Lanka (Australia won by 7 wickets)

By the time of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, Nathan Bracken had etched a reputation as a miserly operator with a wealth of variations up his sleeve.

Sri Lanka found out why in the Super Eight stage where Bracken displayed superb control and variation to starve the Sri Lanka batsmen of runs and pick up regular wickets.

Adopting a pinpoint line outside the off-stump, Bracken had the remarkable figures of 2-9 off seven overs before ending with 4-19 off 9.4 overs. He began with the key wickets of Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga before completing his four-wicket haul with Farveez Maharoof and Nuwan Kulasekara.

10: Mike Whitney 4/34
1992: Australia v West Indies (Australia won by 3 runs)

Mike Whitney was the pick of Australia’s bowlers at the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 and saved his best performance for last against the West Indies.

Shortly into the match, Australia was informed that Pakistan’s win over New Zealand had knocked it out of semi-final contention. But this didn’t deter Whitney who bowled ten straight overs help roll West Indies for 159 and secure fifth place for Australia.

Among Whitney’s scalps during his epic ten over spell were West Indies greats Richie Richardson, Keith Arthurton, Gus Logie and Carl Hooper. Whitney’s figures of 4-34 were his best in ODI cricket.